What do you think of when you think of a construction worker? It’s a common misconception that construction work is all about manual labor. This perpetuates the stereotype that women do not belong in the industry. While women only comprised 10.9 percent of construction workers in a 2020 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics survey, there is an increasing effort to help more women join the industry.
With over 115 chapters across the U.S., organizations like The National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) work hard to offer education, support and networking opportunities for women in the industry. Mears also recognizes the importance of having a diverse and inclusive workforce and the valuable role women play in our industry and organization.
During this year’s Women in Construction week (March 7- 13), we recognized some of the women in our organization who inspire us and help to stomp out stereotypes. From laborers to project managers and everything in between, women hold roles in our organization that make a difference in the work we do. No matter if a seasoned construction veteran or a newcomer, all the women we spoke to agreed that women don’t need to feel intimidated and should trust that they can do the work.
While construction can be manually labor intensive depending on the role, that doesn’t make it off limits to women. Daniella Martinez is a 20-year-old pipe welder from our New Mexico office. She wants young women to know that they are just as capable of working in construction as men. In fact, she recently completed welding a 4-mile, 16-inch pipeline.
Demita Morgan, a General Foreman and six-year industry veteran, also chooses to challenge that stereotype. A recent graduate of our Leadership Academy, Morgan feels women are needed in the industry, and advises: “Don’t let stereotypes limit you – just give your 100 percent every day, and you’ll succeed.”
The goal of Women in Construction Week is to highlight women as an important part of the industry. Project Coordinator Dawn Washington likes to remind women that no industry is off limits. “There is a unique footprint that women bring to any space, and it is far beyond the stereotypical pretty face behind a desk,” she said.
Without a doubt, women play a crucial role in the work we do providing infrastructure solutions throughout America. With a variety of roles in construction, from engineers and project managers to welders and laborers, there is plenty of opportunity for women to find their calling.
Are you a woman interested in construction? Mears is always actively recruiting team members that reflect the many diverse communities we serve. Check out available positions and apply!